Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Frightened Rabbit

Hours pass and no books are read, no pages written, no bike mounted. Today, for the first time, the kitchen sink is dry. Have you made pizza, she asks, and I hide flooding eyes behind a guilty smile. My failure’s well hidden. I could walk the streets and look like a real person, not the specter I am. Only the walls know, having kept me secluded for the past three days. They’re sick of me too, as I am of them. There’s a crowd outside the building waiting to stone me, chanting my name with acrimony, someone who promised and never delivered. I almost hope there is.

Leave it to me to write about depression while depression’s trying to write me off. It’s only the respite that affords contemplation, in the end. There’s too much bedlam here, enough to preclude any explanatory effort. I can’t share something I don’t understand myself. Wounds keep cracking, oozing, hurting. No healing happens. The phone is mute, pokerfaced and cruel. I’ve no pride left for self-persuasion, for silent wars. I stare at the little thing and plead, drops tickling my neck as they roll down, wondering what I’ve done to deserve this. It’s overdue, this self-flagellation, and so is all your advice, years too late, poisoning those phone calls that would otherwise speak of concern and friendship. Stop asking what I am doing. I am sinking. Once the Titanic was hit, what could you have done to keep it from going down?

It would be better if you didn’t have to watch. I’ve half a mind to elope somewhere where nobody knows me, and bleed my failures there. My vocabulary, once a cornucopia, is now a tribute to contingency: could, would, should and should have. I was once told that I was the most brilliant person on campus. I thought it was a joke, but by her face I saw it wasn’t. Today I unearthed my wide black and white prints and looked at them, marveled at the things I used to make. Yes, apparently. I used to make things. And write things. And win things. I think of myself as a discontinued person, like a page break, where a “brilliant” one ends and a failed one takes off, with nothing to link them, save for a name. Had I known that school was the only thing I was good at, I would have stayed there.

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